Choosing the Right Diapers for Your Newborn
It seems like there's an Newborn Baby Cloth Diapers overwhelming array of diapers for newborns. Everywhere you look you see different options and different features. And everyone seems to have an opinion on how you diaper your baby! Here's an overview of things to look for and diapers to consider.
Most babies today (at least in the "modern" parts of the world) are diapered in disposable diapers. There are big advantages to disposables -- especially the fact that they're really easy to use! You'll probably be able to figure them out, even if you've never diapered a baby in your life. Practice on a teddy bear or baby doll before your baby is born if you're feeling nervous about it.
Disposables are nice because you can just throw them away when you're done with them. There's no washing, no worrying about rinsing diapers out, or handling diaper pails. You don't have to carry them home with you (though you should look for a proper place to dispose of them).
Newborn disposables also usually have a cut-out for your baby's umbilical cord. I highly recommend you choose an option with this feature. It's best to avoid irritating the healing area. If your diapers don't have a cutout, however (or you choose to skip newborn size and go right to Size 1), you can just fold the front of the diaper down a bit.
Cloth diapers have to be washed, but the reality is these diapers are nothing like your mother's cloth diapers. Cloth diapers today come in a huge variety of options. You can pick all-in-one or pocket diaper models that are pretty similar to disposable diapers. They're a little bulkier, but just as straightforward and easy to put on.
More traditional diapering systems use a separate diaper and a waterproof cover. The covers can be made out of many different materials. One of the simplest systems is a prefold cloth diaper and a cover. Forget diaper pins -- look for a great product called a Snappi that fastens your baby's diaper easily and securely without sharp pins.
You do have to wash cloth diapers unless you're using a diaper service (diaper services are a wonderful option for your baby's early months). This isn't really all that bad, though. And cloth diapers are much kinder to your baby's bottom. They're more comfortable and babies tend to get fewer diaper rashes with cloth. Babies who have been cloth diapered also tend to toilet train more quickly than babies diapered with disposables.
If you get newborn sized cloth diapers they have the same cut-away area for your newborn's cord area. Fold larger diapers down while the cord is healing.
Don't get intimidated by part-time diapering! This is another name for elimination communication. Your baby is born with the ability to let you know when she's hungry, when she's tired, and when she needs to eliminate. It's pretty amazing, but makes a lot of sense when you think that even newborn animals have the same instinct -- humans and animals alike want to avoid "soiling the nest."
You can listen to your baby's cues and hold your baby over a bowl, small potty, sink, or even the toilet and your baby will urinate or have a bowel movement there. Then you just wipe your baby clean. Parents often make a little sound, such as a "psss, psss" sound that their baby comes to associate with pottying. They know "this means this is a place to go potty."
You can combine elimination communication with diapers easily -- I have done it with four of my babies! Your child will never lose their awareness of elimination and naturally develop more and more control. It's a gentle method of using less diapers and helping your baby be more comfortable.
Consider each of these diapering options for your newborn and pick which works best for you. Remember you can always change things as your baby grows!